News - Toyota
Toyota plays the fool with lighthearted concepts
April Fools Day spurs crazy concepts, customer initiatives from Toyota, Lexus
2 Apr 2019
TOYOTA has shown its lighter side with a number of April Fools Day-inspired concepts, ranging from a HiAce convertible to a Yaris pick-up and even a pampering experience for the dogs of Lexus owners.
The first concept, revealed by Toyota Australia, is a modified version of the all-new HiAce van, which has been fitted with a soft-top that can offer open-air motoring for up to 12 passengers.
Toyota Australia says the convertible body style will be available across all Hiace models ranging from the two-seat long-wheelbase up to the 12-seat super-long-wheelbase Commuter bus.
According to the company, the HiAce convertible will expand its appeal outside of tradies and couriers to include those seeking a weekend getaway.
One optional extra on the HiAce convertible sure to be a hit with tradies is the PieAce, an in-built pie oven integrated into the rear tailgate.
The PieAce features a fan-forced oven and grill able to reach a temperature of up to 250 degrees with four cooking racks and slide into the rear of the vehicle where it is hidden completely.
Toyota Australia public affairs manager Brodie Bott said the PieAce would allow tradies access to their favourite meal any time, any place.
“The PieAce allows busy tradespeople and couriers, who are often on the road all day, to nourish their bodies with a hearty Aussie favourite, the meat pie,” he said.
“It works a lot like a slow cooker. All you do is pop an uncooked pie or sausage roll in the PieAce, set it to the desired temperature using the buttons on the steering wheel and away you go.”
An alarm on the dashboard lets the driver know when their fare is ready to eat.
Toyota’s American counterparts have also got in on the April Fools fun, with the introduction of the Yaris Adventure pick-up that “answers the question that nobody asked”.
The Yaris Adventure was created to capitalise on the popularity of the pick-up segment and takes a Yaris sedan, chops it behind the B-pillar to add a cargo bed in the rear with enough space for “the most moderate jobs”.
The brand decided not to include the rear seats because “it was determined that no one really wants to sit back there, anyway”, and features “class-leading everything” due to it being the only member of the sub-compact pick-up segment.
Off-roading enthusiasts might find the Yaris Adventure’s credentials in the rough stuff a little underwhelming, as its capabilities off the bitumen “begin and end with dirt roads”, and its 7.6-inch ground clearance is rated for obstacles such as curbs and shrubs for when you want to park in your friend’s front yard.
Lastly, Lexus Australia has decided to expand its Encore customer rewards program to include Lexus owners’ four-legged friends, in a new system known as Enpaw.
The Enpaw program provides a chauffeur and accommodation service for the dogs of Lexus owners, housing them in a “luxury boarding kennel” when their owners are away.
Accommodation experiences include playtime in manicured gardens, massages for dogs who have had a “ruff” day and in-room tasty treats.
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